Albuquerque, 5/5/2038 T.A.D. – Future News readers are often curious about the state of sports on the far side of the Kuznetsova Gateway. Here in the year 2038, the world of sports has seen its share of changes and upheavals. While almost all aspects of athletic competition remain fundamentally unchanged in the short 15 years separating us, there have been two significant trends in the world of sports viewership in the United States: the rise of soccer, which has now eclipsed basketball and American football to become the second most-watched and attended sport, and the unexpected surge of cricket’s popularity.
Soccer, a global phenomenon for decades, has finally managed to capture the hearts and minds of American fans. Experts attribute this development to an influx of international talent, thrilling World Cup performances by the U.S. national team, and a series of high-profile endorsements that have raised the sport’s profile.
The U.S. women’s team, long a dominant force on the international stage, captured their fifth World Cup title in 2034, while the men’s team, historically lagging behind, achieved a stunning victory in the 2036 World Cup. This dual triumph, coupled with impressive showings in the 2032 and 2036 Olympics, has propelled soccer to new heights in the United States.
The rise of soccer in America has been further bolstered by the emergence of several homegrown stars, both men and women, who have not only excelled on the field but also transcended the sport to become media celebrities and cultural icons. Among these are striker Jenny “The Meteor” Taylor, famed for her gravity-defying bicycle kicks and relentless work ethic, and midfielder Jackson Rivera, who has gained a reputation for his uncanny ability to thread passes through the tightest of defenses. These players, along with a host of others, have earned dedicated fan followings and lucrative endorsement deals, further raising soccer’s profile in the U.S.
As soccer’s popularity has surged, so too has its presence in the media landscape. Televised matches attract millions of viewers, and soccer players frequently grace the covers of magazines and make appearances on talk shows and commercials.
The sport’s newfound ubiquity has fostered a vibrant fan culture, complete with enthusiastic supporters’ clubs, vibrant matchday atmospheres, and spirited online debates. As a result, soccer now trails only baseball in terms of popularity in the United States, marking a profound shift in the nation’s sports preferences.
Meanwhile, cricket has taken America by storm, a development few would have predicted even a decade ago. The sport, which is immensely popular in countries like India, Australia, and the United Kingdom, has managed to carve out a dedicated niche following in the U.S., with televised matches becoming a regular fixture on sports channels and attracting a diverse range of viewers.
We spoke to two Americans with very different perspectives on the rise of cricket in the U.S. Jessica Adams, a 32-year-old accountant from Boston, has become an avid fan of the sport: “I started watching cricket a few years ago, and I just fell in love with the strategy and pace of the game. It’s like a high-stakes chess match combined with the athleticism of baseball. I can’t get enough of it!”
On the other hand, 45-year-old construction worker Mike Thompson from Atlanta remains skeptical about cricket’s appeal: “Cricket? Really? It’s like watching grass grow while you’re doing math problems on a napkin with a crayon. Baseball is already slow enough, but at least I can understand what’s going on. Give me a good old-fashioned football game any day.”
Despite the mixed reception, cricket’s steady growth in popularity has caught the attention of the American sports media landscape, with major networks beginning to invest in broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals.
While traditional favorites like football and basketball continue to hold their own, the shifting landscape of sports viewership has brought some surprising developments. Only time will tell if these trends will continue or if yet another underdog will rise to capture the hearts of American sports fans.